Sunday, September 30, 2007

Rockin' out at the Acropolis

Of course my blog would not be complete without a "handstand at the Acropolis" photo...

I couldn't handstand close enough to any of the ancient ruins because there were guards and wires surrounding the structures so this rock wall had to do. And how funny would it have been if, while in the midst of the handstand I accidentally grabbed a little Acropolis rock pebble and swiftly placed it into my pocket upon said handstand's descent. That would have been funny. Just another reason to go back and visit again.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

One night in Athens...

-We ate delicious seasoned sweet bread that we bought for 50 leptas from an old man riding by on his bike. And then decided to wear our bread as jewels so no one would take it from us...

-I sat smack dab in the middle of a crowded street just because I loved being in the heart of one of the most amazing cities on the planet...
-We walked home, very late at night (or early in the morning depending on how you look at it) and weren't exactly sure of all the twists and turns of where we were going. At times the streets were eerie, desolate and dark but it was invigorating!
DAMN I miss city living soooo much. I've never wanted to live in the 'burbs, but since we're here we've had to make the most of it and do enjoy the relaxed peacefulness it offers. But being back in the heart thumping energy of a bustling city certainly made me realize that's where I want to be.

Friday, September 28, 2007


It's chilly and dark this morning and believe it or not it's raining. Very unusual for Sept since it's usually one of the hottest months and fire season is most active. I actually like this weather for a change and enjoy looking out the window while daydreaming (though I need to get my work done!) I started to daydream about my trip so I thought I'd post some more photos...(click on the pics to enlarge so you can see more detail)

This was taken at our hotel, the Andronis Suites. It had so many different levels, each with incredible views and different seating arrangements. One night my girlfriend and I enjoyed a late night crepe snack with a bottle of Greek wine while sitting atop this settee. I'd never seen so many stars in my life nor did I know they could shine so bright.

A neat hotel nestled into the mountainside. I love the contrast of the white alabaster with the deep blue doors and windows. A perfect compliment to the sea.

I found this cute little wood working shop in Oia on one of my many walking excursions. He had so many interesting things in the shop all made by hand by him. (sorry the stupid pic will not rotate)

And here's a close up of the little window in the shop and it's breathtaking view to the paradise that awaits...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Need CPR

I sh*t you not, while picking up Wrig's poop in the backyard, this is what I saw...(only a little smaller)

After yet another blood curdling scream (seriously my neighbors are immune to this by now, and watch one day I'll scream and scream as I'm being hacked into little pieces by a serial axe murderer and they will just laugh it off thinking I saw a grasshopper or something) I searched online and discovered that this is a Mexican Red Legged Tarantula. Can't these f*ckers stay in Mexico!?!?! Screw immigration, let's focus on the arachnids and make sure these beasts don't cross our borders! Ok deep breaths. I am still sweating from this encounter.

Well California, it's been fun. I survived almost 5 years here and after today, I'm seriously ready for a new address.

Cartwheeling down the PCH

Took almost a week to get back into the groove of everyday life but now, things are back to normal around here...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Real quick

Does anyone know how long prepared jello lasts in the fridge? I made some on Saturday and it's been sitting in a plastic bowl, uncovered, and wonder if it's still good? I've watched it jiggle and wiggle so the consistency appears to be intact but I'm not sure about the taste. Any advice?

That time of year again...

Trying to stick to a home/work schedule and only have 4 minutes to blog while the coffee percolates.

So I'll keep this quick and post a guilty pleasure must have for fall..

Williams Sonoma Dishsoap in Spiced Chestnut. Get some for the season. You will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Jewels and Wine. What more could you ask for?

One of my favorite memories while in Greece took place at this fancy jewelry store in Fira, Santorini. We ended up befriending the owner of the store and after he gave us a personal tour of his INCREDIBLE winery (will post pics of that too at some point) we headed back to his jewelry store and played dress up with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of dazzling jewels. One of our key phrases of the trip was "Who do we think we are?!?" because so many amazing things just sort of happened along the way that we couldn't explain. This was one of those days.

Here I am sitting outside the jewelry store with my nice chilled glass of Greek wine greeting passerbys in my $150,000 peridot/diamond necklace. For a split second I thought about making a run for it but I was a bit sluggish after a couple glasses of wine.

Of course I'm kidding. I would never make a run for it, especially in heels.

Is it like this everywhere???

DMV = Dumb Mother Vuckers

Can't even begin to tell you about my utter disdain for the CA dept of motor vehicles. It will have to wait for another day. But as of now I'm making sure my bike tires are filled with air because I may be cycling for the next few months. Welcome home.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Day 1

Santorini, Arrival at Chromata hotel in Imerovigli...

feeling: overwhelmed, amazed, scared to death of heights, inspired, peaceful, happy, carefree, ready to see it all!

1 hour later...Chromata hotel manager called to inform us that hotel is overbooked and we must move. Begrudgingly we are driven to another side of the island, Oia and check into the Andronis suites. Once we saw the hotel, the view and our incredible luxury suite, all was forgotten. And of course the champagne was free flowing...

All of our senses were on information overload. From what we saw, to how the wind felt, to not hearing any sounds in the caldera, and to the fabulous champagne that tantalized our taste buds it was pure unequivocal bliss.

Without wasting a second, it was time for a dip into the infinity pool. Looking out at the sea floating into the horizon, made you realize just how small you are in this world.

more to come...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Back home...

physically but not mentally.
I'll need a day or so to let my mind and body adjust to the normality of life again so I'll keep this short and just post a pic. Looking at pictures from the trip is my only proof that this trip actually happened because in my head, it all seems so surreal.

Friday, September 07, 2007

T minus 12

I'm shipping out in less than 12 hours to start phase 1 of my trip and I'm still not finished packing, organizing and deciding what to bring. I'll be throwing things into bags as Tom's pulling out of the driveway heading for the airport. I just don't like trying to plan ahead for more than 2 days in advance. I live in the moment and have a hard time deciding what shoes I want to wear for dinner tonight so how the hell am I supposed to know how I'll feel a week from Tuesday!?! And don't even get me started on accessorizing. I've pretty much decided it's silver hoops, a Cubs visor and fanny pack for the entire trip. Now if that doesn't scream Ridiculous American Tourist, I don't know what does. Ok so maybe I'll nix the visor.

So why am I online blogging when I still have heaps and mounds to do before I'm out the door tomorrow at 7am? Well because I'm organizing my vacation Playlist on i-tunes so I can jam out to some of my favorite songs while trekking through the ruins of Greece or basking on the black sand beaches. Or riding a donkey through the countryside or diving into a pool of hot springs. Or stuffing my pie hole with Saganaki (that's flaming cheese for those who automatically assume it's some sort of strong booze) though we all know how that will end up. I'm assuming Greece's plumbing systems are up to date? I'm getting off track. Back to the tunes.

One of my new favorite songs is Maybe There's a World by Yusuf Islam or, the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens. Not sure on the details why he converted to Islam, but no matter who or what he believes in, he still makes beautiful music. I hope one day we can all live in this world he sings about. It's definitely at the top of my play list.

Peace out!

Maybe There's a World

I have dreamt of a place and time,where nobody gets annoyed,
But I must admit I'm not there yet but something's keeping me going

Maybe there's a world that I'm still to find
Maybe there's a world that I'm still to find
Open up a world and let me in,
Then there'll be a new life to begin

I have dreamt of an open world,
Borderless and wide
Where the people move from place to place
And nobody's taking sides

Maybe there's a world that I'm still to find
Maybe there's a world that I'm still to find
Open up a world and let me in,
Then there'll be A new life to begin

I've been waiting for that moment
To arrive
All at once the palace of peace
Will fill My eyes - how nice!

Maybe there's a world that I'm still to find
Maybe there's a world that I'm still to find
Open up a world and let me in,
Then there'll be A new life to begin

I've been waiting for that moment
To arrive
All at once the wrongs of the world,
Will be put right - how nice!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

this is a glorius day

Dunkin' Donuts coffee is now available at local S. California Target stores. I about peed my pants as I passed the aisle that shelved a boat load of Dunkin' Donuts coffee and I shrieked with joy as I loaded up my cart with Decaf and Original Dunkin' Donuts Beans. Oh what a glorious day this is.

I want to recite a poem to express my happiness...

Dunkin' Donuts I love you.
Dunkin' Donuts you make the best brew.
I've searched this state for years it seems,
There's no doubt about it, you have the best beans.

Yes I'm buzzed, I just came home from watching the Cubs game at a bar with my hubby, my friend Kristen, and my sis and her hubby and we had a cocktail or two. Now I am drinking my nice hot cup of Dunky Donuts decaf before I get some shut eye. Ahhhhh, it tastes soooo good. I hope I don't throw up.

Starting to see a pattern here

Yet another quake.
This time only 10 miles away, a 3.4. Good Lord I pray this state doesn't break apart and float out to sea anytime soon.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Quite possibly the sickest thing that's ever happened to me...

I was just upstairs cleaning litter box #2 that has not been cleaned for a while. Pretty much every single space in that box was covered in some sort of clump or mound. One entire side was all globbed together and it was as hard as clay. It's hot as hell up there, I'm sweating and I'm digging in full force with the scooper and as I start to lift it up the handle snaps off and chunks of litter clumps and granules smack my face like a meteor shower. I even had a clump stuck to my top lip. I can still smell the litter even though I scrubbed my face, neck and entire top portion of my body.

I never thought I'd say this about my precious little Chumley, but can someone tell me why we continue to keep this cat around?!? Ohhh, that's right. Because he's oh so loving in the mornings...

Guess what?

Another quake.
A 4.0 outside of La Jolla. Ok, so maybe Chicago isn't looking so bad after all.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Her mother must be SO proud...

still shakin'

Another quake this morning, this time just a 3.2 a bit north of yesterday's tremor. I was walking around the lake when it happened, and didn't feel anything but the earthquake buzz is certainly hot right now!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Shake, rattle and poo

This morning I awoke to find piles of poo droppings scattered around the house. They trailed out from the laundry room where we keep Chum's litter, into the hall way and family room and then I found the last pile under the dining room table. It was like an Easter egg hunt in the springtime only instead I was searching for poo clumps in the hot summer. Surprisingly Wrig's had left most of the poo in the family room alone UNTIL he saw me get the tools (paper towels and spray cleaner) to remove it. Then it was a mad dash to gobble it all up. I was too tired (ok, hungover) to stop him and was trying my best to hold my breath while picking up the pieces because I felt as though I was about to lose my cookies. Between the two of us, we got it all up which triggered the neat freak in me so slowly, I continued to clean the rest of the house.

Chumley was darting from room to room and would all of a sudden plop his body down hard and shoot a leg up in the air while maniacally licking his rear entry point. I assumed there were still some remnants clinging to life so I would casually walk over to him and try to pick him up but he was onto me and kept running away as soon as I'd get close. He'd run to the dining room table then launch himself to the couch and then squeeze through the kitty cut out door of the doggy gate and run amok on the kitchen counters. I know this is beyond disgusting for most of you (or actually probably ALL of you) but this situation is not exactly what you would call out of the ordinary in this house, hence my cavalier attitude in posting it here. Just know that I do clean the food prep areas on a consistent basis so no need to worry about anything foreign in home cooked meals at my house.

Tom had returned from golf shortly after 10 and we were sitting in the living room playing with Wrigs as Chum was watching from his little sitting area near the stairs. I told Tom about Chum's incident this morning and how I think he still needs some help cleaning it all up so I sneakily headed over towards Chum. Since Wrigs was close behind there was nowhere for Chum to escape so I was able to nab him. I held the squirming boy facing belly out towards Tom so he could inspect the area in question. Tom moved his tail out of the way and poor Chum howled and thrashed around to get out of my grip but I held on tight until Tom gave me the thumbs up, everything looked normal.

No sooner did I place Chum back on his perch when the ground shook with force! I was standing in the middle of our living room and it felt as though the wood floor was going to pop and snap into pieces. Tom jumps off the couch, Chum FLIES up the stairs and Wrigley starts barking like a mad man. It lasted maybe all of 5 seconds? Maybe longer? But OH MY GOD we were all frozen in what seemed like an eternity. I thought to myself, "THIS IS IT! WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!" Ok maybe I didn't just think it, maybe I screamed it at the top of my lungs for the duration of the quake, I don't really remember but it literally felt like our house was picked up and placed back down on the ground. Nothing was broken, nothing even fell off the shelves but chandeliers shook, doors & windows rattled, and the floor I was standing on felt like it was about to cave right in. Once it was all over I told Tom I bet the epicenter was right beneath our living room floor so we rushed to the Earthquake alert page and saw that it was a magnitude 4.7 centered about 12 miles away and was felt as far as Northridge, San Diego, Palm Springs and Big Bear. It was quite a jolt.

This was a quake wake up call for us both because we realized we are not as prepared as we had thought. We have canned goods and water stashed away in the garage, as well as an earthquake survival kit but we have to secure some of the heavier items (like our tv in the bedroom and many things piled on top of each other in the garage) and have easy access to important documents in case we need to claw our way out of rubble. Of course I pray to God that never happens but mother nature is not something we can control so we need to do as much as we can up until that point of no return. Those of you here in California, please make sure you're prepared and for those of you in the rest of the world, I hope you have preparations in place in case of natural or man made emergencies. Disasters strike with little or no warning and I just want all my loved ones to be safe.

This link to Fema's website on disaster preparedness is something everyone should take the time to read.

  • Are you Ready?

  • Gives a whole new meaning to Labor Day

  • Woman pops out 6 kids

  • All I can say to this is OUCH, OUCH, OUCH, OUCH, OUCH, and OOOOUUUUUCCCHHH!!!!!

    On a side note, check out this photo I found online of 3 little porcupine babies. So cute! And probably a lot less painful to birth than 6 humans.

    Reminds me of Anne Geddes photography...

    Saturday, September 01, 2007

    1 year, 3 months, 2 weeks and 4 days

    is all we had to wait for the animals to somewhat accept each other. This was the first time since Wrigley's arrival that the two of them could actually sit in close proximity without hits and hisses. They are even learning to share. Chumley laps up Wrigley's water as Wrig's tosses around Chumley's bear and then decides to use it as a pillow. And yes, like my fellow blogging friend KBL, I also translate imagined conversations between the two of them. I think the only difference is, I actually hear these voices in my head. Depending on the situation Chumley can either sound like Joe Pesci or Prince Charles, he has quite a range. Wrigs on the other hand is all Elmer Fudd. In this instance, Chum is Joe Pesci...

    Chum: So whadda you lookin' at? Yeah, I want your water, whadda you gonna do about it tough guy?

    Wrigs: Duhhh, nothin'. I'm just gonna lay here and snuggle up with your lover bear.

    Chum: That's right, just lay there. But go easy on my lover. Now leave me alone so I can drink all your water.

    Wrigs: Duhhhh, Ok!

    Then later that same day I came home and found the 2 of them on opposite sides of the doggy gate but still close to each other, even laying the same way. It's been hot here and we're careful not to run the AC too much because of power outages. So here's a shot of the two of them sprawled out with their bellies on the floor trying to stay cool. How cute is this? I caught them in mid conversation and this is what I heard (and this time Chum was speaking in his distinguished British accent)

    Chum: For the last time, you ignorant buffoon, stay out of my litter box, and leave my sweet smellin' snacks alone! I don't make those just for you. Those...are for Mum.

    Wrigs: But they are so yummy, I just can't help myself. You make the best tootsie rolls on the block!

    Chum: I can't believe I occupy the same space with such an uncivilized beast. Have you no manners?

    Wrigs: Uh oh. Here comes Momma with that shiny box again. Ouch! That bright light hurts my eyes.

    Chum: This is getting out of hand. I despise that shiny box with the bright light. She needs to be stopped.

    Wrigs: But how? What can you do? You don't even have thumbs. Wait, neither do I.

    Chum: Don't worry. I have a plan.

    Now I'm scared.